Commuters who make their way to South Lake Tahoe over Kingsbury Grade each day now will have the option of leaving their cars at home, thanks to a new express bus line scheduled to go into service next week.
BlueGO's Kingsbury Express will run between Carson Valley and the Stateline Transit Center seven days a week from 6 to 9 a.m. and from 3:30 to 7:30 p.m. beginning Jan. 15. The service, which is in part funded by a $1 million donation from Big George Ventures, a Carson Valley development company, and a federal clean fuels grant.
The express bus run will connect Lampe Park and Gardnerville transit stops to major employers at Stateline, and will be operated by Aztec Transportation Services of Carson City.
An official kickoff party is scheduled for Feb. 1, at the Harvey's casino transit center. A new Kingsbury Express bus will be on display at the event, which will feature prizes, refreshments and an appearance by Big George owner Raymond Sidney of Stateline. Sidney is a retired Google software engineer.
"This new service provides an important connection for commuters between Carson Valley and Stateline who in the past have had limited public transportation options," said Nick Haven, principal planner for the BlueGO board. "By expanding public transportation opportunities in the Tahoe Basin, we are helping improve air quality and reduce congestion Ð and helping commuters save money and reduce stress at the same time."
Stacy Dingman, chairman of the BlueGO board, said the new service will make it easier for major employers in the basin to encourage their workers to use public transportation.
"Our employer surveys tell us that there is ample demand for a service like this along the Kingsbury corridor," said Dingman, quality assurance manager at Lakeside Inn and Casino. "As the Kingsbury Express becomes established and known, we anticipate that demand will rise."
A round trip on the shuttle will cost $5. Free transfers are available to other BlueGo routes. Ten-ride passes are available for $22, monthly passes for $90, and three-month passes for $260. The service runs seven days a week, 365 days a year.
Kingsbury Express passes are available to the public at the Douglas County Parks & Recreation Department offices in Gardnerville and at Lakeside Inn and Casino in Stateline.
Employees may obtain passes through the human resources departments at major Stateline area casino resorts and hotels.
As a kick-off promotion, riders may obtain free 10-ride passes good for the month of January by having their employer contact Aztec Transportation.
A copy of the Kingsbury Express schedule and other information about the service is available on the BlueGO Web site, www.bluego.org, or the Kingsbury Express Web site www.kingsburyexpress.com, or by calling 883-2100.